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Stokas, Kats will return for another term on District 218 School Board

By Dermot Connolly

Local school board races were among some of the most competitive in the area on Tuesday, despite the fact that they are all volunteer positions.

Three seats were being contested on the District 218 Board of Education, which encompasses Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Shepard High School in Palos Heights, and Eisenhower High School in Blue Island. The two incumbents running, Robert “Bob” Stokas (District 6) and Carol A. Kats (5th), both were re-elected to second terms.

Stokas, an attorney, edged out his challenger, Tricia O’Sullivan, a teacher, with 51.9 percent (824 votes) to 48.1 percent (764 votes). Both live in Oak Lawn.

Stokas

Stokas

“It is with great pleasure to announce that I have won re-election to the CHSD 218 Board of Education for District 6. I want to sincerely thank my former opponent Tricia O’Sullivan for personally calling me to congratulate me on my victory. Tricia’s phone call demonstrates her high character. I look forward to moving beyond this election as it was very difficult on my family and me,” said Stokas in a statement.

“I will continue fighting for our taxpayers, students, families, faculty, and staff. I pledge to continue to vote against bloated budgets and automatic tax increases; while remaining “union strong”, and making sure that we have the best schools possible for our children. I want to thank all of my supporters especially our Teachers’ Union, Maintenance and Custodial Workers’ Union, Oak Lawn Mayor Dr. Sandra Bury, Worth Township Democratic Committeewoman Patricia Joan Murphy, the other elected officials that supported me, as well as my family, friends, wife, and children. I look forward to being sworn in for a second term on May 6 along with my running mate Carol Kats.”

Kats, a teacher from Worth, won re-election to her District 5 seat over challenger Maureen Kenney Richel Ed.D., an education specialist from Palos Heights. Kats received 1,063 votes (69.1 percent) to 475 (30.9 percent) for Richel.

Kats

Kats

In the third 218 race for the 1st District seat being vacated by Johnny Holmes, Sheila Wilson-Collier won the election over Jacquelyne R. Sharp with 980 votes (64.2 percent) to 546 (35.8 percent) for Sharp.

There were no surprises in District 230 either, where four candidates were running for three seats on the board that oversees Stagg High School in Palos Hills, Sandburg High School in Orland Park, and Andrew High School in Tinley Park. Incumbent Patrick O’Sullivan was the top vote-getter, with 12,299 (28.8 percent). He will be joined on the board with his two running mates on the 230 United slate: Dave O’Connor with 11,786 votes (27.7 percent) and Mike Hardek, 9,867 votes (23.1 percent).

They will be taking over the seats left vacant by the retiring Denis Ryan and Rick Nogal. Coming in fourth was independent candidate Jeanne A. Bailey, who received 8,637 votes (20.3 percent). All four candidates are Orland Park residents.

The election outcome was similar in Oak Lawn Community High School District 229, where incumbents Matthew Egan and Timothy Burke retained their seats. Egan topped the poll with 1,812 votes (30 percent), followed by Burke with 1,616 (26.8 percent).

Coming in third, and taking the seat being vacated by Lenny Svoboda, was Mark J. Stanislawek with 1,490 (24.7 percent). Missing out on a seat was Siobhan B. Forde, who came in fourth with 8,637 votes (20.3 percent).

 

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